3-year-old dies in mower accident

CHAMPION — A 3-year-old boy has died after an accident involving a lawn mower.

According to a Trumbull County 911 call log, a man called 911 around 6:45 p.m. Monday to report he ran over his son, Elijah Byler, while cutting the grass. The lawn mower is described as a 60-inch Ferris walk behind mower, which has a platform or “saki seat” on it.

The caller tells the dispatcher his son’s arm is cut off, and he is not breathing, according to the report. He also tells the dispatcher Elijah was sitting on the platform and he fell off.

Champion police Chief Jeff White said the accident is still under investigation, but it is being treated as a “tragic accident.”

“We want to make sure we do a thorough investigation and understand how it happened so we can prevent it from happening again,” White said.

He said he has three children of his own and was “shaken up” by the incident, as were the officers who responded to the accident at 4140 Anderson Anthony Road.

“I can’t imagine losing a child under any circumstances, but especially like this. My heart goes out to this family,” White said.

Champion fire Chief John Hickey said he was not on duty when the call came in, but he heard about it from his crew, noting they were shaken up as well. A firefighter who answered the phone at the station on Wednesday said “thank God, no” when asked if he was at the scene. He said a different crew answered the call Monday.

The 911 report states a helicopter was called, but later canceled, and the coroner was called to the home. The boy was taken to Trumbull Regional Medical Center.

The police department requested assistance from the Ohio State Highway Patrol to diagram the scene, the report states.

According to Elijah’s obituary, he just turned 3 on Saturday and was a member of the Old Order Amish Church. His parents are John Marc and Mary Ann Miller Byler and his younger brother is Abram John. Services are today.

mkosinski@tribtoday.com

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